Travel Budget for San Diego Visit San Diego on a Budget or Travel in Style

San Diego, California, United States of America

How much does it cost to travel to San Diego?

You should plan to spend around $202 per day on your vacation in San Diego. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $45 on meals
  • $24 on local transportation
  • $229 on hotels

A one week trip to San Diego for two people costs, on average, $2,824. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to San Diego cost?

A one week trip to San Diego usually costs around $1,412 for one person and $2,824 for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to San Diego on average costs around $2,824 for one person and $5,648 for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in San Diego will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to San Diego on average costs around $6,051 for one person and $12,102 for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently to San Diego has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Is San Diego expensive to visit?

Prices in San Diego are reasonable and comparable to your average travel destination. Hotels, food, and sightseeing are generally within normal price ranges.

Within North America, which is known to be an expensive region, San Diego is a moderately priced destination compared to other places. The overall cost of travel here is fair for the region and comparable to Breckenridge or Bar Harbor.

For more details, and to find out if it's within your travel budget, see Is San Diego Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to San Diego?

The average San Diego trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these San Diego travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

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Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) $229
Local Transportation 1 $24
Food 2 $45
Entertainment 1 $48
Alcohol 2 $10 - 31
Accommodation Budget in San Diego
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in San Diego is $115. For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in San Diego is $229. This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room

Hotel Prices in San Diego

Looking for a hotel in San Diego? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.


Actual Hotel Prices
The average hotel room price in San Diego based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $217. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Recommended Properties

Transportation Budget in San Diego
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in San Diego is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $24 per person, per day, on local transportation in San Diego.

  • Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Recommended Services

Flights to San Diego
How much does it cost to go to San Diego? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all airlines.

Rental Cars in San Diego
The price of renting a car in San Diego will depends on dates, the type of car, the location, and your age. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all car rental companies.

Food Budget in San Diego
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in San Diego can vary, the average cost of food in San Diego is $45 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in San Diego should cost around $18 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in San Diego is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food2 Meals for one day


What did other people spend on Food in San Diego?

Typical prices for Food in San Diego are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the prices in San Diego, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.

  • Mexican Lunch for Two
  • Breakfast at Starbucks

Entertainment Budget in San Diego
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in San Diego typically cost an average of $48 per person, per day based on the spending of previous travelers. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.

The Go City San Diego Pass offers great discounts on attractions in San Diego. With the Go City Explorer pass, you can choose to visit specific sights and attractions at a discount. Or, you can visit as many included attractions as you like with a multi-day All-Inclusive Pass. The average visitor saves 30% off of the regular admission prices.

Recommended Activities

What did other people spend on Entertainment in San Diego?

Typical prices for Entertainment in San Diego are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the prices in San Diego, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.

  • San Diego Zoo
  • Sea World Parking

Alcohol Budget in San Diego
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $21 on alcoholic beverages in San Diego per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day


Water Budget in San Diego
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend $4.42 on bottled water in San Diego per day. The public water in San Diego is considered safe to drink.

  • Water2 Bottled water for one day

San Diego On a Budget
San Diego Balboa Park, San Diego
For many visitors and locals alike, San Diego is a paradise. Located in southern California, not far from Los Angeles, it has the perfect climate, wonderful beaches, and a culturally rich environment. It's surrounded by beautiful landscape and has a strong focus on wildlife conservation and eco-friendly living. Home to about 1.3 million residents, it is California's second largest city. It also has many universities, a large tech industry, and a thriving economy. Despite its size, many people perceive San Diego as a slower, more relaxed city with a pleasant vibe away from the chaos of a large city.

San Diego's climate is ideal almost any time of the year. Coastal temperatures hover around 75 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year and humidity stays low. As you head inland away from the coast, temperatures can change dramatically. During the summer the temperatures can rise noticeably and during the winter the inland areas are much cooler, particularly at night. May and June experience the most clouds and overcast weather. September is the hottest month and September and October have the highest risk for wildfires.
San Diego is a great city to explore with many interesting sights and a wonderful atmosphere. Top sights in the city include Balboa Park, Sea World, La Jolla, the San Diego Zoo, Point Loma Lighthouse, and Mission San Diego de Alcala, among others. In La Jolla you can visit the Birch Aquarium or see the Harbor seals at Children's Cove. Popular museums around town include the San Diego Maritime Museum and the USS Midway Museum. Many visitors also like to make the trip to Coronado to see the Hotel Del Coronado. This hotel was built in the 1800s and sits right on the beach. There are many shops and beautiful beaches that you can enjoy.
San Diego has many different neighborhoods, each with its own vibe and atmosphere. San Diego's downtown area has a vibrant nightlife and business district. Balboa Park is where you'll find the San Diego Zoo and many museums. It also has some interesting residential areas. The Old Town area was the site of the first Spanish settlement in California and Point Loma is a great area to explore the coastline and look for sea life. Also consider making a trip to the upscale area of La Jolla, which is quite beautiful and has a nice aquarium worth visiting.

San Diego is a great place for outdoor activities, cultural events, and excellent shopping. While you're in town you can relax on the beach, go whale watching, try your hand at surfing, or enjoy some boating or sailing. The weather is almost guaranteed to be pleasant and nice for any of the best things to do in San Diego. If you're an adventurous spirit, you can try scuba diving, hang gliding, or rock climbing. Hiking or biking opportunities are also plentiful. If you've had enough of the outdoors, then beer tasting in San Diego is also a popular past time.

Of course, this is Southern California, and the beach is always a popular place to spend your days. Check out this guide to beach resorts in San Diego for some ideas.

Or head out of town to visit nearby destinations that are all within easy reach. La Jolla, Coronado, or Carlsbad are just a few places on the list of day trips from San Diego that are plenty of fun.
Food and Dining
As a large city, San Diego offers endless culinary options. There are a wide variety of ethnic restaurants throughout town. In addition to local flavors, there are major chain restaurants in many different neighborhoods. Local food often includes fresh seafood, which is an excellent option. Mexican food is also delicious, affordable, and authentic. You'll find many Mexican restaurants in the city's Old Town, but they are also common in most other neighborhoods around town as well. If you happen to be in town on a weekend, allow plenty of time for your meal as restaurants can become quite crowded. San Diego is also known for its craft-brewing scene. Local brewers in the area include AleSmith Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Company, Green Flash Brewing Company, Coronado Brewing Company, Ballast Point Brewing Company, and Port Brewing Company.

The public transit system in San Diego is lacking, and you would definitely benefit from having access to a car. There is a trolley system that predominately serves tourists, but the schedule can be infrequent and inconvenient. The trolley system has the blue, green and orange lines. The Blue Line runs from the US and Mexico border to Old Town via Chula Vista, National City and Downtown. The Green Line connects Old Town east to Santee, passing through Mission Valley and SDSU. The Orange Line connects the cities of El Cajon and La Mesa with Downtown. There are also city buses, but they do not cover large areas of the county and their service is also infrequent and inconvenient. Biking is another alternative if you don't have access to a car, but you will be limited in the neighborhoods you will be able to visit, as some are spread out or far away.
Looking for a party hostel in Las Vegas or San Diego? Traveling alone to NYC or LA? Want a budget hostel in San Francisco?

We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works.

1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase. Thus, the overall daily average cost is not a summation of the individual categories.